One of the most popular characters in the Touhou series, Marisa first appeared in Touhou 02: The Story of the Eastern Wonderland as the boss of stage four and a minion of Mima. Although she originally fights against the heroine, Reimu, Marisa later befriends her. She first appeared as a playable character in the third game, Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream, and has appeared in many games since, both as a playable character and as an opponent.
Marisa is frequently described as an 'ordinary magician'. She is a teenage human witch -- a Western-style magic user in an Eastern-style fantasy world -- who lives in the Kirisame family home in the Forest of Magic. Unlike most other characters in Gensokyo, Marisa has a family, although they have never made an appearance.
Marisa uses phantasmal mushrooms to fuel her spells. When flying, she rides her broom, although it is unknown whether this is strictly necessary. She is also known as something as a kleptomaniac, and will take things she finds interesting, even if they don't belong to her. Marisa frequently ends her sentences with だぜ (da ze), a masculine version of です (desu).